Last Updated: Friday, 09 December 2016, 12:56 GMT

Moldova: Decision to overturn homosexual propaganda ban welcomed

Publisher Article 19
Publication Date 16 October 2013
Cite as Article 19, Moldova: Decision to overturn homosexual propaganda ban welcomed, 16 October 2013, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/525fa5854.html [accessed 9 December 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

ARTICLE 19 and GENDERDOC-M welcome the decision by Moldovan MP's on 11 October to overturn a law banning the promotion of non-traditional relationships. The move comes a month ahead of a European Union summit in Lithuania, at which Moldova hopes to sign an Association Agreement, as it attempts to progress towards EU membership.

"ARTICLE 19 protested earlier against the adoption of this propaganda ban as a clear violation of international human rights standards protecting freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. The decision by MPs in Moldova to overturn this dangerous discriminatory law now is extremely important as the tide of censorship targeting of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people is on the rise. We hope this will signal a clear shift against such legislation, which has already been universally condemned by the European Union as well as the Council of Europe and the United Nations," said Thomas Hughes, Executive Director of ARTICLE 19.

"Similar legislation is in force in Russia and Lithuania and is currently under consideration in Ukraine. 'Homosexual propaganda' bans can result in the censorship of vital information about health and education - including about sex education and HIV. People must be allowed to access information and hear alternative views, these are fundamental requirements for a healthy democracy" he added.

Anastasia Danilova, Executive Director of the GENDERDOC-M Information Centre, a non-governmental organisation at the forefront of campaigning for LGBT rights in the country, and a partner of ARTICLE 19, also welcomed the political decision.

"GENDERDOC-M welcomes the repeal by members of Moldovan Parliament of the previously adopted ambiguous and homophobic amendments to the Code of Administrative Offences. We see this as a positive sign demonstrating that Moldova has chosen, through its EU integration process, adherence to human rights principles. We are hopeful that Moldova will continue to ensure equal rights for all of its citizens regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Moldovan authorities are yet to ensure that the freedoms of assembly and expression for LGBT people are not at any risk."

Background

In July 2013, it was announced that the Moldovan Parliament had amended article 90.1 of the Code of Administrative Offences on 23 May 2013, to ban the "distribution of public information and/or committing acts aimed at the propagation of prostitution, paedophilia, pornography or of any other relations than those related to marriage or family in accordance with the Constitution and the Family Code". Violations of the law would result in fines up to 500 EUR and/or prohibition of specific activities from three months to up to one year.

- See more at: http://www.article19.org/resources.php/resource/37290/en/moldova:-decision-to-overturn-homosexual-propaganda-ban-welcomed#sthash.AYnTpefc.dpuf

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